It's been only a year since the Ravens traded for former Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith ahead of the 2022 NFL trade deadline. Not only is Smith excelling as the lynchpin of Baltimore's defense this year, but he had an instant impact improving the unit overnight last season.
On Monday, Nov. 6, Albert Beer of Sports Illustrated published a few stories following Week 9 of the regular season and in one of them he shared a conversation with Smith in which the linebacker discussed his past in Chicago and the trade to the Ravens.
"Man, it’s pretty crazy thinking back to when I was initially traded. It was bittersweet for me, just knowing Chicago and rightfully so. But if I would’ve stayed there, honestly, [I] wouldn’t have been able to compete for a title anytime soon. [Having left Chicago] makes me so happy, just knowing my career is not going down the drain, in the sense of playing somewhere where I’m not truly competing for a title."- Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Roquan Smith didn't hide anything when talking about his past with the Bears and how much he's enjoyed moving on and flipping Chicago for Baltimore in a mavo he thinks prevented his career from "going down the drain."
"Man, it’s pretty crazy thinking back to when I was initially traded," Smith told Beer. "I just think about it from the perspective of having the opportunity to compete for one year in and year out with the talent we have. Man, it makes me so happy, just knowing my career is not going down the drain, in the sense of playing somewhere where I’m not truly competing for a title.”
Since joining the Ravens, Smith has become a key member of Baltimore's defense and he's the true leader of the unit these days, even donning the green dot on his helmet.
This season, Smith has racked up 87 total tackles, defended five passes, completed three tackles for a loss of yardage, and put up 1.5 sacks. In a simple sentence, Smith said "Honestly, man, it means the world to me, being a Raven."
Smith also told Beer "I pride myself on playing until the whistle, playing every single play as hard as I can," adding that doing that in Baltimore "makes you want to go even harder, with all the legends that came before me, like Ed [Reed], Ray [Lewis], Bart [Scott]."
The linebacker also revealed that he requested a trade from Chicago in the summer of 2022 but that he "didn’t plan to [get traded], but you know, life happens at times."